Cress (Bitter Cress) – Awakens the mind



Bright, sharp, awakens the mind, seeing a way through to right action.


Lasavia Essences are the gift of vitality of plants, minerals and insects delivered to you with the utmost care.  The resolve of Lasavia is to deliver to you Elemental Healing through the introduction of an Essence into your being.  We suggest you put a few drops in water, drink and take a moment to be inspired by the qualities of the Essence that you have chosen.


Cress ~ Cardamine Hirsuta

Bitter CressThis small cress almost goes unnoticed in most people’s gardens. It’s a great little salad weed and there is very little reference to it in most herbals. The word Cardimine comes from Greek and compounds the words for heart and subdue, the plant having once been used as a heart sedative. Hirsuta means hairy. I let this one go with the chickweed in the early spring, a whole garden given over to its small white flowers. Talk about taste.

Physical Attributes

Bitter cress is a small rosette-based annual, up to 25cm tall. The leaves are lobed. The stems that hold the flowers are upright and have very few leaves on them. The flowers are white and small. It flowers in early spring and the seeds follow shortly afterwards. It grows as a weed in most gardens and can tolerate the cold. It’s noted in Hugh Wilson’s book ‘Stewart Island Plants’ that it grows around huts and houses. A little note here what other things does he say about it. It’s edible and belongs to the mustard family. I like to put it in salads and as a component to a green smoothie.

Cress (drawing by Leila Lees)The Essence

Bright, sharp, awakens the mind, seeing a way through to right action.

When I connect with this remedy I see an alert quality and a connection to fluidity (life force) connected to fluid and spontaneous action. The energy of cress moves with responsiveness to a situation, while connecting us to our hearts, a reminder that our actions are best when we are aligned with our higher selves. Slothfulness and procrastination are negative states when we feel unable to push through to the next piece and are prepared to give up. In these states we can be inattentive to simple consecutive actions to the degree that we create chaos.

Bitter cress allows us to move out of this state and into action. It is an essence that allows us to take action at the right time, with a balance which allows us space to be restful without guilt. Often slothfulness is a reaction to work rather than feeling fine about relaxing and holidaying. I think it’s important to examine how we act and what we are acting from. This essence helps us act from a state of clarity and perception. The nature of bitter cress is bright, sharp, trickster, and playful. In taking it, it shows up rigidity and holds you to account.